Capitol Report: USMCA optimism rises after Pelosi-Lighthizer meeting | Democrats face gloomy Senate odds in red states

Author photo

By

Money & Politics reporter

USMCA optimism: Top lawmakers from both parties are expressing new hope that a replacement deal for North American Free Trade Agreement could be ratified by Congress this year, says a Politico report.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats were upbeat Wednesday about the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement as they left a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, saying he finally seemed to take heed of their demands to modify the trade deal after weeks of the two sides mostly talking past each other. But Democrats also have been quick to caution that the Trump administration still has not taken any actions or made any specific changes to address their concerns, which include how well Mexico will enforce the deal’s labor provisions.

Related: U.S. labor leader on USMCA — Mexico first must prove it’s eradicating ‘700,000 protectionist contracts’

Democrats face gloomy 2020 Senate odds: A strong Democratic candidate still will need a lot of breaks to win a Senate seat in a red state in 2020, says prominent analyst Nate Silver.

“In Montana, for instance, I estimate that even if the national environment is about as good for Democrats as last year, then even a candidate as good as Bullock would still only have a 25% or 30% chance of winning,” Silver writes at FiveThirtyEight, referring to Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, who has opted to run for president rather than a Senate seat. “In a neutral environment, he’d have almost no shot.”

Silver offers this chart that shows Democrats “face gloomy Senate odds,” broadly speaking:

Trump reportedly prefers diplomatic approach to Iran: President Donald Trump is frustrated with some of his top advisers, who he thinks could rush the U.S. into a military confrontation with Iran and shatter his long-standing pledge to withdraw from costly foreign wars, according to a Washington Post report citing several officials.

Trump prefers a diplomatic approach to resolving tensions and wants to speak directly with Iran’s leaders, even as his administration has been on high alert in response to what military and intelligence officials have deemed specific and credible threats from Iran against U.S. personnel in the Middle East.

House to vote on bills that touch on drug prices, Obamacare: The House is set to vote Thursday on a big set of bills to lower drug costs, as Democratic leaders have packaged the drug-price legislation with measures aimed at strengthening Obamacare, CNN notes.

Pelosi defended the grouping Wednesday, saying that Democrats are delivering on their promises from the midterm election to protect those with pre-existing conditions and tackle health-care costs.

But North Carolina Republican Rep. Richard Hudson blasted the approach: “We’ve spent a long time coming to agreement on the drug-pricing legislation. We can easily pass that out of the House on a voice vote. But by packaging it with poison-pill legislation, they know we can’t support. It just shows they’re not serious about legislating.”

Abortion politics may trip up Jones: Abortion politics could put pressure on endangered Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones as his state pushes the strictest limits in the country, says a Roll Call report. He has criticized Alabama’s move, which makes performing an abortion a felony in nearly all cases.

“It’s pretty clear that Sen. Jones is not where the rest of Alabama is on that issue,” Christopher Nicholas, a veteran Republican political consultant, told Roll Call.

But Democratic pollster Zac McCrary said the senator’s stance could work out well for him, as it ought to appeal to the Democratic base and any moderate Republicans who “feel very queasy” about Alabama’s move.

Related: Alabama governor signs bill making nearly any abortion a felony

Want news about Asia delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Asia Daily newsletter. Sign up here.

Filed in: Top News Tags: 

You might like:

An estimated 10.7 million Americans could miss work the Monday after the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale An estimated 10.7 million Americans could miss work the Monday after the ‘Game of Thrones’ finale
The Moneyist: My mom gave my sister $20,000 for her stem-cell treatment, I want her to deduct it from her inheritance The Moneyist: My mom gave my sister $20,000 for her stem-cell treatment, I want her to deduct it from her inheritance
The Wall Street Journal: OPEC considers two scenarios to adjust oil production The Wall Street Journal: OPEC considers two scenarios to adjust oil production
Biden pitches himself as a uniter even as he tears into Trump Biden pitches himself as a uniter even as he tears into Trump
A new theory on why sleeping less than 7 hours per night can lead to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes A new theory on why sleeping less than 7 hours per night can lead to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes
Economic Preview: There’s no recession in sight, but the U.S. economy appears stuck in second gear Economic Preview: There’s no recession in sight, but the U.S. economy appears stuck in second gear
NewsWatch: Crowd psychology says this ‘fool’s rally’ in stocks could fool bears NewsWatch: Crowd psychology says this ‘fool’s rally’ in stocks could fool bears
The Wall Street Journal: Students were advised to falsely claim to be racial minorities in college-admissions scandal The Wall Street Journal: Students were advised to falsely claim to be racial minorities in college-admissions scandal

Leave a Reply

Submit Comment
© 2019 Stock Investors News. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.